The Tales of Beedle the Bard by J.K. Rowling
And now for something completely different. A book from a book.
The Tales of Beedle the Bard by J.K. Rowling is a collection of short children’s stories that were read to young witches and wizards in the Harry Potter world. This book is mentioned, and plays a part in The Deathly Hallows (the last book of the Harry Potter series).
The history of this book, is that it belonged to Albus Dumbledore, and in it, he had made notes about each story. When Dumbledore died, he bequeathed the book to Hermione Grainger. Later, Hermione re-translated the whole thing from the original runes, and included Dumbledore’s notes. Between introductions, and notes, there are only 5 stories. A brief synopsis of each:
The Wizard and the Hopping Pot……a young wizard inherits his father’s magical pot, but when he refuses to use it to help others, there is one calamity after another.
The Fountain of Fair Fortune.…….on one day ever year, ordinary people try to get into the enchanted garden and be the first to bathe in the fountain, where they will be granted “fair fortune” for evermore. This year, three witches and a guard find themselves facing challenges to reach the fountain, much less decide who will bathe in it.
The Warlock’s Hairy Heart…….A young wizard uses dark magic to ensure that he is protected from everything. Unfortunately, that means he lives a very lonely life, which he does not even notice until he realizes others pity him. Okay, this is a horror story. NOT meant for young children!
Babbity Rabbity and her Cackling Stump…….A long time ago, a foolish king decides that he should be the only one who can practice magic, so he formed a Brigade of Witch Hunters, and hired an instructor. The witches all went into hiding, and his instructor knew only tricks, but they were enough to lead the King into thinking he was a true wizard. The King’s washerwoman turns the tables.
The Tale of the Three Brothers.…..Best known as being read in the Harry Potter Series, this story tells the story of the three brothers who try to outwit death.
Okay, I love the Harry Potter Series. I re-read them regularly. I even re-watch the movies on a yearly basis. (Yes, I am in my late 50’s, so don’t ask). I read this book when the book first came out, but put it on my “do not blog” list. I changed my mind when I re-read them. I don’t think I paid enough attention to Dumbledore’s notes the first time around. He often tied the stories into events that Potter fans are familiar with, and there was even a blurb about a disagreement between him and Lucius Malfoy over one of the stories.
Overall, they were entertaining — for a true Potter fan. Although a stand-alone book, I can’t see reading this if you haven’t read the series.
Re-Read: June 2017
Favorite Quote from The Tales of Beedle the Bard:
“No man or woman alive, magical or not, has ever escaped some form of injury, whether physical, mental or emotional. To hurt is as human as to breathe.” – From Albus Dumbledore’s notes
“But Death was cunning”.” – From The Tale of the Three Brothers
About the Author (from Goodreads): Although she writes under the pen name J.K. Rowling, pronounced like rolling, her name when her first Harry Potter book was published was simply Joanne Rowling. Anticipating that the target audience of young boys might not want to read a book written by a woman, her publishers demanded that she use two initials, rather than her full name. As she had no middle name, she chose K as the second initial of her pen name, from her paternal grandmother Kathleen Ada Bulgen Rowling. She calls herself Jo and has said, “No one ever called me ‘Joanne’ when I was young, unless they were angry.” Following her marriage, she has sometimes used the name Joanne Murray when conducting personal business. During the Leveson Inquiry she gave evidence under the name of Joanne Kathleen Rowling. In a 2012 interview, Rowling noted that she no longer cared that people pronounced her name incorrectly.